PHYS 598 COS :: Physics Illinois :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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General Information

Course Description

COSMOLOGY We will survey the essentials of modern cosmology, providing an overview of the state of the field, of open questions, and of observational and theoretical tools. Planned topics include: classical cosmology--the Friedmann universe; the early universe--inflation, nucleosynthesis, dark matter; the cosmic microwave background--basic physics, anisotropies, polarization; large scale structure formation--theoretical and numerical models observational tests; dark energy--observational evidence, theoretical ideas. The emphasis will be on applying physical principles to understand observations, and on using observations to constrain the nature of matter and spacetime on cosmic scales--viewing the universe as a laboratory for fundamental physics.

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General Policy Regarding Grading

Homework is considered essential to learning course material, and should be treated as training for future work rather than as a test of what you already know. You should start working on an assignment early, close to when it is posted on Friday. We encourage students to work together, and get help from the professor or TAs when they encounter difficulties. We will happily explain difficult concepts during office hours and check your work for errors.  Don't make the mistake of starting your homework the day before it is due!

Partial credit will be given on homework and exams if and only if the work is coherent. A random scattering of thoughts will not be awarded points. Simple numerical errors will not be strongly punished, however, students are expected to be careful about their work and will lose points for errors which give incorrect physical results. The steps to receiving partial credit are: (i) write your solution neatly and coherently using equations and words to describe what you are doing (ii) checking your answer for consistency e.g. are units correct, does the solution behave correctly in known limits? Write as though you are explaining the problem to somebody who doesn't already know the answer! Expect the exams to be challenging but to be curved accordingly.

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